If you're fed up with having to wear baggy track suits because your butt doesn't look too flattering in tight jeans, make the commitment to zap away the unwanted pounds through exercise. You can choose any type of exercise to help you burn calories, but if you prefer to take a simple approach, a daily walk can bring results your way.
Spot Reduction Myth
Before you get discouraged that your walks aren't melting your butt fat away by the pound, consider the common exercise myth of spot reduction. Although you might like to be able to target the fat in a specific part of your body through exercise, it's impossible to do so. The American Council on Exercise notes that if you burn enough calories to lose fat, you'll lose the fat throughout your entire body, rather than in one specific area.
Walking Calories Burned
Your body is consistently burning calories at a low rate, but to see fat-loss results, it's time to kick up your intensity a notch. Even a moderate walk can help you burn a pile of calories, but the longer and faster you can keep moving, the more progress you'll see. According to Harvard Medical School, a 155-pound person will burn 149 calories during a 30-minute walk at 3.5 mph but will burn 186 calories during a 30-minute walk at 4.5 mph.
You might not be able to tell how many pounds of fat you carry around your butt, but if you're exercising to reduce the size of your backside, it's likely that you carry a few extra pounds elsewhere, too. To burn 1 pound of fat, it's necessary to burn about 3,500 calories more than you drink and eat. Walking an hour per day will help you burn a few hundred calories, but trying some higher-intensity exercises, such as cycling and swimming, can help you reach your fat-loss goals even quicker.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is a slow, steady way to shed some pounds, but beyond its ability to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, it provides a number of other benefits. Regular walks can help you lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, keep you physically fit and improve your mood. The endorphins that your body releases during exercises such as walking help you feel happier and less stressed.
- American Council on Exercise: Q: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Bodybuilding.com: You Can't Spot Reduce
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- MayoClinic.com: Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health
- Better Health Channel: Walking for Good Health
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.